Class of 2017 to reveal ring design

Originally published by the Collegiate Times as Lifestyles.
Published in print edition, page 2, on Tuesday, Oct. 6. 2015.

The ring premiere for the 2017 graduating class is on Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. in Burruss Hall. The hour-long event is free of charge and is open to students of all classes and the university community. Free t-shirt vouchers will be given out to attendees for pickup in Squires after the event. The reveal will be followed by two firings of Skipper, the Corps of Cadets cannon, and fireworks on the Drillfield.

"It's a really special opportunity for our class to come together as one, and it only happens two times, at ring premiere and ring dance," said Cal Wontrop, ring dance chair. "We all get to come together as a class and celebrate ourselves and also the time and hard work we've put in at Tech so far and it's a unique opportunity to hear and see what the ring is all about."

Each ring has a university side and then a class side, which contains symbolic elements of important events during the years spent at Tech by the class of 2017, including the 35-21 win versus Ohio State football on Sept. 7, 2014, a popular hiking destination and a unique part of Lane Stadium. From left to the right, the ring shows a transition from old into new tradition.

Every collection includes symbolic elements, including a screaming eagle for strength and freedom, an American flag and campus buildings for national and university heritage, and an interlocking chain around the bezel for the strength of many united as one.

“Our class motto is 'transcend with tradition,' so we're trying to get every single one of our members of the class of 2017 to engulf themselves in the traditions here at Tech,” said Thomas Arruda, the ring design committee chair. “We want them to just kind of take part in everything they can take part in while here, so they can carry that with them after graduation and into whatever they do after college.”

Cranberry, navy and silver are the class colors. Raymond D. Smoot, Jr., of the class of 1969, is the former CEO of the Virginia Tech Foundation and the namesake for the class ring, along with Dean Robert T. Sumichrast of the Pamplin College of Business, who is the class sponsor.

The ring design committee is comprised of eight class of 2017 students selected during sophomore year.

“The class of 2017 ring has some awesome elements on it that every student can relate to and reflect on, based upon our experience,” said Pat Finn, president of the class of 2017. “Ten, 20, 30 years down the road, looking at the cool design of the ring, we’ll be able to remember our awesome time that we had here at Virginia Tech, and it will forever cement the Hokie legacy.”

Since the 1911-1912 academic year, Virginia Tech continues to be one of the few universities that creates a new design every year.

“Ring premiere is one of the best nights that you can experience, especially when you're a junior and it's your time to see your class ring,” Arruda said. “I encourage everyone to buy a class ring – it's something you can look back on and remember the times that you had at Virginia Tech and the experiences you got to share with all your friends and all the memories that you made as well.”

The class of 2017 ring design committee inside of Moss Arts Center. Top row: Daniel Mun, Vince Lawton, Cal Wontrop, ring dance chair, Pat Finn. Bottom row: Chris Willging, Becky Oswalt, Jack Crockett, Thomas Arruda.
Photo courtesy of Niki Khandelwal
The class of 2017 officers at the Pylons. Top row: Pat Finn, president, Vince Lawton, male member-at-large, Jack Crockett, cadet member-at-large, Pat Dupont, treasurer. Bottom row: Allison Crandell, vice president, Becky Oswalt, female member-at-large, Maddie Walters, secretary, Niki Khandelwal, historian.
Photo courtesy of Niki Khandelwal
The class of 2017 official logo, featuring the two class colors of cranberry, navy and silver, was unveiled this year.
The 2017 ring collection will be available to view in the Squires Williamsburg Room for purchase Nov. 16-18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rings will be delivered from March 29 to April 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The junior class ring dance will be on Friday, April 1 from 8 p.m. to midnight and on Saturday, April 2 from 8 p.m. to midnight inside of Squires Old Dominion Ballroom.

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